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Taormina opens with the 50th anniversary ceremonies

Happy Birthday to you, Taormina.
The oldest Italian internatiomal film festival, celebrates its 50th anniversary, Launched in 1954 when Taormina, Sicily, was the preferred resort of the Hollywoodian stars, At that post war time, Sicily development was a step behind (still a bit behind today), the institution of an international event was meant to promote its great touristic resources.
The Italian island has given much to this Festival, the Festival did too. The "partnership" has led today to one of the most waited cultural event in the world, also thanks to the marvellous frame of Taormina, the "jewel” of Mediterranee. How to celebrate, then, a so important anniversary without being rhetoric with the usual “line up” of hollywoodian stars to attract people and the interest of international press? The “Vip” presence is confirmed with Judi Dench, Michael Douglas, Antonio Banderas, and film directors like Margareth Von Trotta, Francesco Rosi and others will be awarded with the Taormina Art Cinematic excellence prize with a precious watch by Harry Winston)
Felice Laudadio, (Taormina-Bnl festival director since '99) wants this anniversary to be a “travel” across the “memory” of the Cinema history. Thirteen “cult" films, world premiere at the Taormina festival past edition, that have marked an important turn in cinema history, will be play at The “Palazzo dei Congressi” during the festival week from 13th to 20th of June. Revisiting the Festival past, that is the past 50 years of Taormina Cinema, will help to understand the great importance of this historical festival. Amongst the cult films in their restored versions, of the Festival section ”Taormina 50: the great cinema of the past”, also the mythical “Easy Rider” by Dennis Hopper, a Taormina international premiere back in 1969. Or the most famous “Picninc at Hangig Rock”,1976, by the australian Peter Weir ( attending Taormina for a “lesson of Cinema”, another of the special event for this celebration) and the italian “Il Decameron”, 1971, by Pier Paolo Pasolini.
The traditional section of the Taormina FilmFest 2004 “Great Cinema at the Greek Theatre” will include seven first or second work of young directors that represent all the cinematographic genre screened in Taormina in the past 49 editions: from western (“the Alamo”) to thriller (“Lautlos”), adventure (“Starsky and Hutch), musical (“De Lovely”) drama ( “Miracle in Palermo”), comedy (“Ladies in Lavender”), fantasy (“immortel”). Twelve international produced films, mostly world premieres, will be presented at the Congress Palace. This section is not officially competitive, but the selected films will be judged by a jury composed of International cinematographic critics presided by Marcel Martin that will assign the FIPRESCI Award to the best film, while an audience jury will grant a 10.000 Euros prize offered by the Ministry of Culture of the Sicilian Region. The German film director Margareth Von Trotta, presents his last work on June 16th, “DIE ANDERE FRAU” with Barbara Sukowa.
The last (but not the least) Taormina-Bnl prize will be also assigned to the best young sicilian director of short films by an international jury. Next to the traditional sections ,some initiatives represented by a series of special additional screenings will celebrate the anniversary as the Felix Moeller's film, DIE VERHOEVENS, that reconstructs the extraordinary story of a directors' dynasty since three generations. On June 17th on the occasion of the tribute to Francesco Rosi,will be presented a film by Roberto Andò dedicated to the great Italian director.


Susanna Jacona Salafia
--------------------

Taormina Festival sections


Great Cinema at Greek Theathre

"Ladies in Lavender", Uk ,by Charles Dance

"The Alamo",Usa/Uk,by John Lee Hancock
"Lautlos", Germany, by Mennan Yapo
"Miracle in Palermo", Italy, by Beppe Cino

Cinema from around the world (Fipresci Award):

CARGO by Andi Reiss, UK, 2004, first feature film, World premiere.
BLIND FLIGHT by John Furse, with Ian Hart, Ireland, 2004, first feature film, International premiere
HURENSOHN (The Whore’s Son) by Michael Sturminger, Austria, 2004, first feature film
FREEZE FRAME by John Simpson, Ireland, 2004, first feature film, European premiere
SET POINT by Ilmar Taska, Estonia, 2004, first feature film, World premiere
DIE ANDERE FRAU by Margarethe von Trotta, with Barbara Sukowa, Barbara Auer, Germany, 2004, International premiere
BLINDED by Eleanor Yule, G.B.-Scotland, 2004, first feature film, World premiere
MEMO by Milós Jovanovi, Serbia and Montenegro, 2004, first feature film, World premiere
TURN LEFT AT THE END OF THE WORLD by Avi Nesher, Israel, 2004
VILLA PARANOIA by Erik Clausen, Denmark, 2004, World premiere
FRACTURE by Larry Parr, New Zealand, 2004, World premiere
MA MERE by Christophe Honoré, with Isabelle Huppert, Louis Garrel, France 2004, International premiere

"Lessons of Cinema"
STEPHEN FREARS “DANGEROUS LIAISONS” by Stephen Frears
MARGARETHE VON TROTTA “ROSENSTRASSE “by Margarethe Von Trotta
PETER WEIR “THE YEAR OF LIVING DANGEROUSLY”
JANE CAMPION “IN THE CUT” by Jane Campion
JOST, PERPIGNANI, SIDER, HIMMELSBACH, BONGIOVANNI

“Forms of Future Cinema

FRANCESCO ROSI
SALVATORE GIULIANO by Francesco Rosi
MICHAEL DOUGLAS
FALLING DOWN by Joel Schumacher

“Bnl prize award for sicilian short films”
STORIA DI UN AVIATORE CHE PREFERÌ NON KAMIKAZARSI by Mario Bellina
IL REGALO DI COMPLEANNO by Christian Bisceglia and Fabrizio Ruggirello -
STAI CALMO by Alfio D’Agata -
LITTLE DISTRACTIONS by Vincenzo Tripodo -
ANDARE by Antonio Bellia and Martino Lo Cascio -
NON CI SAREBBE NIENTE DA FARE by Lisa Romano -
CAPOLINEA by Mario Casentino
MEGALOMANIA by Francesco Lollo STIDDA CA CURRI by Piero Messina






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